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Expressions of quantity

What do the sentences mean? And are they correct? 1. Some of the students in my class are a little lazy. Some students in my class are a little lazy. 2. Sam has't met any of the students in the other class. Sam hasn't met any students in the other class. 3. Most of the students in our class are very smart. Most students in our class are very smart. 4. All of the students in my class are here. All students in my class are here. 5. Both of the birds in the picture are incapable of flight. Both...Read More...
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Preposition -- "on" or "for"?

Hi All, Which of the following two is correct? 1) I went for a short holiday to Cornwall. 2) I went on a short holiday to Cornwall. I read that one says " on holiday" so is " for a short holiday" also correct. Because to me it sounds right, but I might be wrong. Please help ThanksRead More...
"On holiday" is an idiomatic expression, but it can be modified to "on a short holiday," "on a long holiday," or with other adjectives. The normal word order would be, though: 1) I went to Cornwall for a short holiday. 2) I went to Cornwall on a short holiday. RachelRead More...

"No matter ..."

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell me if I can use these expressions with the basically same meaning? 1. No matter what the cost [is, will/may/might be], I will get it. 2. No matter what I [pay, will/may/might have to pay] for it, I will get it. 3. No matter how much I [am, will/may/might be] charged for it, I will get it. 4. No matter how much it [costs, will/may/might cost], I will get it. 5. No matter how much it [costs, will/may/might cost] me, I will get it. 6. No matter what it...Read More...
Addendum to my posting about "no matter" used with the simple present form to express future: An additional way to express the conditional idea is to use "No matter (what/ how) + (subject) + MAY/MIGHT + SFV,......" This adds a bit more to the uncertainty already expressed. So, your sentences with "may" or "might" + the simple form of the verb would also be acceptable. RachelRead More...

"work clothes" or "working clothes", any rules?

What is the rule applied to compound words? I have found 169 examples of "paintbrush", 8 examples of "paint brush" no examples of " painting brush", 8 examples of "work clothes" 3 examples of "working clothes" no examples of "workclothes", which example I knew I would not find. When and how do you decide to use a hyphen or not, combine two nouns or use a present participle as an adjective? I've seen/used/heard/ "swimming pool" but not "swim pool". I've found both "swim suits" and "swimsuits"...Read More...
The punctuation and spelling of noun compounds has occupied grammarians for centuries, and has filled thousands of pages. You can learn a few things that may help, but for the most part, you're on your own. First, about work vs. working as a premodifier. Work clothes are a kind of clothes. You buy work clothes. Your working clothes, on the other hand, are the clothes you own that you wear to work in. Other combinations involving work as a premodifier include A work...Read More...

"Only" and "alone"

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell if these are acceptable? 1. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge only with books. 2. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with only books. 3. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with books only. 4. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with books alone. Thank you very much. Enjoy the nature.Read More...
Yes, all are correct.Read More...

Grow up

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell if these are acceptable? 1. I want to grow up to be a teacher. 2. I want to be a teacher when I grow up. 3. I want to be a teacher when I've grown up. 4. I want to be a teacher when I'm grown up. 5. I want to be a teacher when I'm a grown-up. Thank you very much. Enjoy the nature.Read More...
Yes, all are acceptable.Read More...

Get oneself something

1)Get a good dictionary. 2)Get yourself a good dictionary. Could you tell me what is the difference between these two? Is 2) equivalent to "Do yourself a favor and get a good dictionary."?Read More...
Thank you for your reply.Read More...

Gerund vs. Infinitive

Hello, teachers! Could you please check my thoughts? [1] I think these are all correct. We can use the ones with the gerund ("-ing" form) only if you are actually doing (or did) the given action. We can use the ones with the infinitive ("to" form) in any case. And in any case, the infinitive forms are common. Am I right? 1-1. It is difficult to solve the problem. 1-2. It is difficult solving the problem. 2-1. It was difficult to solve the problem. 2-2. It was difficult solving the problem.Read More...
Thanks to Chuncan Feng for pointing out an omission in my posting of December 6, 2003. I should have made it clear that the construction in question was one with a second noun phrase , as in "It's easy for children ..." My example, "It's easy to make New Year's resolutions but less easy to keep them" was misleading; it should have contained a for-to construction such as "It's easy for people to make New Year's resolutions...." Now the question remains, can we say "It's easy for young...Read More...

Anyone else

Hello, teachers! I think that in these sentences We have to use "else." Am I right? 1. Don't tell anyone (else) about this. 2. He is taller than anyone (else) in his class. 3. You can play baseball better than anyone (else) in my class. 4. You've learned/learnt faster and better than anyone (else) I've ever seen. Thank you very much. Happy Saint Valentine's Day for the 14th of February - wishing you all love and success!Read More...
"Else" is not necessary in any of the sentences unless you mean to say "additional." For example, in the first sentence, if you both know that a third person knows, you could say "don't tell anyone else (in addition to the person who already knows) about it." In the second sentence, "anyone else" might mean that Johnny is the tallest in the class, but of the remaining people, Sam is taller than any of them. Similarly, in the third sentence, the addition of "else" could mean that you've...Read More...

Family is/are

Hello, teachers! I think that in these sentences American English uses "does/is" and British English uses "do/are." Am I right? 1. Do you live alone? / Yes. / Where do/does the rest of your family live? 2. How large are/is your family? Thank you very much. Happy Saint Valentine's Day for the 14th of February - wishing you all love and success!Read More...
When "family" refers to an impersonal unit, it is more common to use the singular, both in British and American English: My family is very large. When "family" refers to the individuals, it's more common to use the plural, but the singular could also be used: All my family is/ are excited about the wedding. When referring to the individuals, your instincts about the American preference for the singular usage is correct. RachelRead More...

"Overdo myself"?

Hello, teachers! [1] I think we can't use the objects, [-self]s, because the verbs are intransitive verbs. Am I right? 1. I overate [myself] this morning. 2. I overslept myself this morning. 3. I overworked [myself] yesterday. [2] I think we have to use the object, [myself], because the verb "overdo" is a transitive verb. Am I right? - I overdid myself yesterday. [3] Do these have the same meaning? 1. I overworked myself yesterday. 2. I overdid myself yesterday. [4] Do these sentences make...Read More...
[1] I think we can't use the objects, [-self]s, because the verbs are intransitive verbs. Am I right? 1. I overate [myself] this morning. 2. I overslept myself this morning. 3. I overworked [myself] yesterday. 1 and 2 are correct – no objects. "Overworked" could possibly have an object, such as "I overworked my brain," or "I overworked my legs," so it's possible, although redundant, to say "I overworked myself." ___________ [2] I think we have to use the object, [myself], because the verb...Read More...

"From A to B"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me if these sentences are correct? 1. I don't have classes from the 23rd [to, till, through, thru] the 4th of next month. 2. Celery harvest season is/runs from the end of June [to, till, through, thru] mid-October. 3. Excuse me, how late are you going to stay open today? / Until 9. Our hours are from 11 a.m. [to, till, through, thru] 9 p.m. Thank you very much. Happy Saint Valentine's Day for the 14th of February - wishing you all love and success!Read More...
1. All correct, but "thru" is an informal and often unacceptable spelling of "through." 2. Both "is" and "run." Ditto for the prepositions. 3. "To" and "till." Since 9 p.m. is an exact moment, it doesn't follow "through." This sentence differs from your first sentence in that the 4th is a complete day, so "through" can describe that. RachelRead More...

"In" or "for"

Dear All, Are the following sentences correct ? If yes, what is the difference ? 1) I've not eaten for 3 days. 2) I've not eaten in 3 days. Thank you. RickyRead More...
(Ricky's question is one that is frequently asked. This posting is modified from one that appeared on the old Newsgroup) "For" is always correct to measure the duration of a period of time, so your sentence, "I've not eaten for two days," is fine. After negatives and superlatives, "in" can also be used to talk about duration, so your sentence, "I've not eaten in two days," is also fine. I haven't seen him for/in months. It was the worst storm for/in ten years. I've not eaten in two days.Read More...

"Shouldn't have to"

What do the 'should's mean in the sentenses? 1.You shouldn't have to work on weekends. 2.I shouldn't have to go to the dentist again for another year.Read More...
"Should" has more than one function. One of the uses of "should" is to express an opinion or to give advice about behavior. Another use of "should" is to express a fairly confident expectation. Here are scenarios for each utterance. 1a.You shouldn't have to work on weekends. It isn't fair, after all your years of service (opinion) 1b. You shouldn't have to work on weekends much longer, just until we get caught up with the backlog of orders (expectation) 2a. My checkup was good, as usual. I...Read More...

"Will" or "going to" for future

Dear teacher I 'd like to ask about the expression of the future. Would you look at the following sentences? #1 She said, " My mother will leave the hospital." #2 She said, " My mother is going to leave the hospital." Question(1): In this case , which expression is appropriate ? Does #1 imply uncertainty of her mother's leaving the hospital? Or isn't there any difference between #1 and #2? Question(2): Is there any good expression instead of " leave the hospital"? I look forward to a reply.Read More...
(This was written before I saw Apple's perceptive posting. It amplifies what Apple has already said.) First, it's important to remember that utterances aren't produced in a vacuum, but in a meaningful context. It's hard to imagine a sentence such as these without a time expression to complete the idea. With this in mind, we can look at the options. Scenario 1: She said, "Everything went well with my mother's surgery, and she'll leave/is going to leave/is leaving the hospital tomorrow."...Read More...

For me or to me?

I'm confused with the use of for and to + objects. Do we say "It is good for you" or "It is good for me"? Thank you!Read More...
If something is beneficial to someone, it is good for that person. You eat broccoli and whole grains because they're good for you. A person who treats someone else well, who tries to make that person happy, is good to that person. Marilyn MartinRead More...

be fond of vs. like

Hello, today I want to know the difference in meaning between "be fond of" and "like".Do they have exactly the same meaning? I like playing soccer. I am fond of playing soccer. Though they would be almost the same meaning, I have seldom found the expressions with "be fond of." I've often find the sentence with "like" or "love"... Anyways, I'd like to know the difference between them. Thank you.Read More...
I can't think of anyone who would say "I'm fond of playing soccer." You can be fond of playing bridge, of doing embroidery, or listening to classical music. You can be fond of horse racing or tennis tournaments, but that implies that you are a spectator, not a participant. You can also be fond of a person or a pet animal. "Be fond of" belongs to formal style and would be out of place in the mouth of a competitive outdoor sportsman or sportswoman, unless that person is talking to the Queen of...Read More...

Does this need a yes or no answer or a right or wrong one?

Hello, teachers! A; Is this the book you are looking for? B; [______] Where did you find this anyway? Would you please tell me which is the correct reply in the place of [____], 1, 2, or both? 1. That's right. 2. Yes, it is. Thank you very much. Enjoy twinkling stars in the dark sky.Read More...
Depending on the level of formality between the two parties, one would say, from most casual to most formal Yeah Yeah, that's it Yes Yes, that's it Yes, it is "That's right" isn't very natural, although it might occur. Marilyn MartinRead More...

Sick to/in one's stomach

Hello, teachers! I would like to ask you about the expression "sick to/in one's stomach". [1] Does this sentence mean A, B, or both? - I feel sick to/in my stomach. A. I have a stomach ache. B. I feel nausea. [2] Do we use these expressions too? - I feel sick to/in my heart/head/back/leg. [3] Could you please check and correct my sentences? 1. I feel sick (in/to my stomach). / Take/Try this medicine. 2. Bad/Rotten/Spoiled/Stale food makes you sick (in/to your stomach). 3. I felt sick (in/to...Read More...
The correct expression to indicate a feeling of digestive unease is "sick to (one's) stomach." It is also used metaphorically to indicate a feeling of disgust or repulsion. "To be sick at..." can't be used with any other part of the body that is afflicted, only the stomach. There's an idiom, "sick at heart," that is not related to physical ailments. "Sick at heart" means "full of emotional pain, usually at a sad, tragic event or situation." You could say it if you see someone suffering in...Read More...

"How come ...?" vs. "Why don't ....?"

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell me the difference in meaning when we use 'how come ...' and 'why don't .....'? Do they have exactly the same meaning? 1. How come you don't eat/finish those left-over potato chips? / Sorry, I'm already full. I can't have any more. 2. Why don't you eat/finish ... Thank you very much. Enjoy twinkling stars in the dark sky.Read More...
The kind of "Why don't you...?" question in (2) is not an information question, it's an offer (as it is in this case), a gentle suggestion/request, or an invitation. It's not like the real information question "Why don't you have a cell phone? " Look at these examples, noting the contrast between "some" and "any": Why don't you have any potato chips? You were going to buy some. Did you forget to put them on the shopping list? (information question) Why don't you have some potato chips? These...Read More...

"All the people," "all OF the people"

What is the difference between (1) and (2)? (1) all the people. (2) all of the people. ˜Of' in (2) seems redundant. If not, what function does this ˜of' have? If there is a situation where these two (1) and (2) are not interchangeable, what situation would that be? appleRead More...
Joining of to all is necessary in a few constructions: 1. before certain personal pronouns : all of them, all of us, all of it 2. some idiomatic expressions : all of a sudden . However, in most constructions, it is optional: all of the people, all the people. Theodore M. Bernstein states in his book* that "except with pronouns, the of is superfluous and the careful writer may wish to omit it on that ground, but its use is well based and cannot be objected to on any other ground."...Read More...

tense

Hello teachers! Would you please point out the correct choice? 1-1. Jane said to Jim, "I didn't tell your mother anything about what you [did, had done] to Peter." 1-2. Jane told Jim that she hadn't told his mother anything about what he [did, had done] to Peter. 2-1. His secretary said to him, "there were no phone calls while you were out." 2-2. His secretary told him that there had been no phone calls while he [was, had been] out. Thank you very much. Best regards.Read More...
1-1. Jane said to Jim, "I didn't tell your mother anything about what you [did, had done] to Peter." Either tense is OK, but "did" is more likely. 1-2. Jane told Jim that she hadn't told his mother anything about what he [did, had done] to Peter. Either tense is OK but "did" is more likely. 2-1. His secretary said to him, "there were no phone calls while you were out." 2-2. His secretary told him that there had been no phone calls while he [was, had been] out. Both are theoretically correct,...Read More...

At a fast food shop

Hello, teachers! Would you please help me with this? Which is/are the correct and common choice/choices in the place of [____]? [1] I'd like 4 cheeseburgers, 3 Cokes, and 1 milk shake. / That [____] 15 dollars and 45 cents. 1. is, 2. will be 3. would be 4. is going to be 5. [comes to, will come to, would come to, is coming to] 6. [runs to, will run to, would run to, is going to run to] [2] I'd like two milk shakes and three Cokes. / [____] / Yes, that's all. 1. Is that all? 2. Will that be...Read More...
I can only speak for establishments in the U.S. Such announcements vary with individuals and regions, but the most frequent forms are, in order of frequency: (The price alone) That's ... That'll be... That's gonna be... That comes to ... (more formal) The rest of the possibilities are not appropriate. "Runs to" is not appropriate. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary* defines "run [to]" thus: To amount to; total: The bill ran to $100. The expression is most often used to describe a past or...Read More...

"haven't eaten","haven't been eating"

There is a use of present perfect progressive based on present evidence of recent past activity. The focus is more on the effects of the activity than on the activity itself. The following two sentences (1)(2) are both grammatically acceptable, but which one is likely to follow (3)? What is the difference in the nuance? Are there any other examples that clarify this point better? (1) You haven't eaten for days, have you? (2) You haven't been eating for days, have you? (3) You look starved. appleRead More...
In my posting on the uses of the present continuous in the Archives I wrote: "This use of the present perfect continuous ("someone has been eating my chocolates") is based on present evidence of recent past activity. It focuses more on the effects of the activity than on the activity itself." This does not mean that when there is present evidence of a past activity the present perfect progressive must be used. Other factors can influence the choice of verb tense and aspect. For example, if...Read More...

Many in positive sentences?

Hi, Is "many" used in affirmative sentences? Is the following sentence wrong? 1)There are many cars on the road. 2) The library has many English books. I am told that manyis used mainly in negative sentences and questions. But the above two sentences sound correct to me.. Help will be appreciated.. ThanxsRead More...
Dear Posters: You are all right. "Many" is correct in affirmative sentences such as: "There are many cars on the road" and "the library has many books." Using "many" in affirmative sentences like these, however, is not conversational. It is perfectly correct, but quite formal and literary in style. "Many" is seen in newspaper articles, for example: "¢ The list of these add-ons has been expanding steadily for the last decade, pushing many drivers to the point of revolt. (The NY Times) "¢...Read More...
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